Lewisburg, Logan 8th graders lead region on ACT Explore test
By Jim Turner

Posted on February 19, 2014 9:55 PM

Logan County’s eighth graders dominated regional scores on the ACT Explore test and fared well in state rankings this year. The five middle schools in the Logan County System placed in the top seven among the 22 eighth grade classes in the region, two of them were atop regional standings, one finished fourth in the state, and another was in the top 20.

“In September, Logan County eighth graders took the ACT Explore Test. The performance of Logan County Middle Schools is outstanding. The district ranks first in the region and eighth in the state,” says District Curriculum Coordinator Dawn Slaton.

Lewisburg is the school which finished first in the region and fourth in the state with a 18.2 composite score out of a possible 25. Auburn placed second in the region and 16th in the state with a composite of 17.2. This was in comparison with 323 other schools.

Adairville placed fourth in the region with 16.5 while Chandlers was sixth and Olmstead seventh, each with a 16.2.

The only schools which joined them in the top seven were third place South Warren and fifth Glasgow.

Other schools in the comparison were Muhlenberg North, Bowling Green, Drakes Creek, Barren County, Franklin-Simpson, Muhlenberg South, Butler County, James E. Bazzell (Allen County), Edmonson County, Warren East, Todd County, Monroe County, Metcalfe County, Henry F, Moss (Warren County) and Russellville.

As a school district, Logan County finished first in the region (among 18 districts) and eighth in the state (among 174) with a 16.9 composite. Glasgow was second in the region and 20th in the state with a 16.3. Also among the top 100 districts among the 174 in the state were, in order, Bowling Green, Barren County, Muhlenberg County, Simpson County, Warren County, Allen County, Butler County and Edmonson County.

Not only did Lewisburg and Auburn finish first and second in the overall rankings, but they placed in the top two in all four testing areas, with Lewisburg slightly ahead in each one. Adairville was third in both English and Mathematics and tied with Chandlers and Olmstead for fifth in Science.

All five schools were above state benchmarks in English and Reading. Lewisburg, Auburn and Adairville surpassed the benchmark in Math. None of them reached the benchmark in Science.

The Kentucky benchmark scores for EXPLORE are:
 13 or higher on the English Test
 17 or higher on the Mathematics Test
 15 or higher on the Reading Test  (ACT benchmark now 16)
§ 20 or higher on the Science Test (ACT benchmark now 18)

These are the scores recorded by the five schools:

Lewisburg: 1st in region, 4th in state; English 17.6, Math 18.8, Reading 16.7, Science 18.7, Composite 18.2

Auburn: 2nd in region, 16th in state; English 16.2, Math 17.3, Reading 16.3, Science 18.3, Composite 17.2

Adairville: 4th in region, 48th in state; English 15.8, Math 17.1, Reading 15.4, Science 17.4, Composite 16.5

Chandlers: 6th in region, 73rd in state: English 15.0, Math 16,7, Reading 15.4, Scince 17.4, Composite 16.2

Olmstead: 7th in region, 74th in state; English 15.1, Math 16.7, Reading 15.1, Science 17.4, Composite 16.2

District: 1st in region, 8th in state: English 16.0, Math 17.3, Reading 15.3, Science 17.9, Composite 16.9


Overall student performance on EXPLORE and PLAN tests remained relatively unchanged in 2013, according to data released today by the Kentucky Department of Education.

The assessments, precursors to the ACT college entrance exam given to all public high school juniors in the state, test knowledge in English, mathematics, reading and science.

The EXPLORE test is given to all 8th-grade public school students. It provides an early indicator of readiness for college, provides important information for building a high school academic plan and helps students identify careers in which they might be interested.

The PLAN test is given to all 10th-grade public school students in Kentucky each September. It serves as the midpoint check of academic progress in high school. It is designed to improve students’ preparation for education, training and work after high school while students still have time to adjust their high school courses.

“When compared nationally, our biggest deficits are in math performance,” said Commissioner Terry Holliday. “These results confirm what we already know from the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) and Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress (K-PREP) tests – that is we have some real work to do to better prepare our students in mathematics.”

Holliday said it will take three to five years for Kentucky to see the impact of new Kentucky Core Academic Standards on grade 8-12 assessments since teachers need training on the most effective ways to teach the standards and students need support to fill in learning gaps and meet the more rigorous college/career-ready standards.

Since 2006, when Kentucky first started giving EXPLORE and PLAN, students have made solid gains in every subject and more students are meeting benchmarks for high school- and college-readiness.

College Readiness Benchmarks, scores in English, mathematics, science and reading that predict whether students are on track to take beginning credit-bearing college courses and be successful after they graduate from high school, are set by ACT.

While ACT changed the benchmarks in reading and science in August 2013, Kentucky is continuing to report against the prior benchmarks in order to maintain trend data. So, Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) reports on EXPLORE, PLAN and ACT will not match ACT-generated reports and they cannot be compared.

State law (KRS 158.6459) mandates that a student whose scores on EXPLORE or PLAN indicate that either additional assistance or advanced work is required in English, reading, or mathematics must have the appropriate strategies incorporated into his or her Individual Learning Plan.

Both assessments help schools pinpoint areas of weakness for individual students and schoolwide curriculum and make changes to improve learning. Schools analyze their individual results to inform decision-making.

Administration of the EXPLORE, PLAN and ACT assessments, which are provided by ACT, Inc., was mandated by Senate Bill 130 (codified in KRS 158.6453) in the 2006 session of the Kentucky General Assembly.

Senate Bill 1, passed in the 2009 session of the Kentucky General Assembly, requires a high school readiness examination in 8th grade and a college readiness examination in 10th grade. EXPLORE and PLAN, respectively, are used for these purposes, and data from the assessments is included in the state’s Unbridled Learning: College/Career-Ready for All accountability system.

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